ABS Chairman, President and CEO Advises Industry on Future Technology and Talent Requirements

(Athens) Regulation, prospects for the dry bulk market, options for compliance with the 2020 Sulfur Cap, corporate governance and diversity led the debate at the Tradewinds Shipowners Forum at Posidonia today.

ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki addressed approximately 500 attendees noting “there are a lot of moving parts in both the dry and wet markets today and going forward.

“As we look to maximize safety and minimize environmental impact, we must remember there are three key megatrends in our world today: world economic growth, greater societal focus on minimizing environmental impact and maximizing safety, and technology is becoming a more important commercial enabler now more than ever.

“There are also four challenges for shipowners today: digitization and connectivity; cyber security; efficiency improvements and emissions reduction,” added Wiernicki. “Most of the solutions that have addressed shipping’s challenges have thus far come from technological advances in naval architecture. When we look at the next advances, digital will have an increasing role in solving these challenges. This will happen incrementally, but the speed and scope will be determinative factors in defining the success of digital generation problem solvers.

“A data-driven digital operating ecosystem means greater reliance on data-driven operational performance, predictive and preventive maintenance, and even Class will benefit from digital technology as it moves from a calendar-based to condition-based survey cycle,” he said.

Looking ahead to diversity opportunities for the industry, Wiernicki emphasized that “Digital is really just a code word for data, and whether it is technically or commercially applied, digital talent is different than analog talent. We must develop people who can make decisions based on a lot more data.

“How we operate in a digital world will drive us to blend traditional and non-traditional skillsets, whereby mariners will sit side-by-side with data scientists to unlock economic value. If you can’t unlock economic value, then you are not ready for digital technology.”

About ABS

ABS, a leading global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, is committed to setting standards for safety and excellence in design and construction. Focused on safe and practical application of advanced technologies and digital solutions, ABS works with industry and clients to develop accurate and cost-effective compliance, optimized performance and operational efficiency for marine and offshore assets.